Imagine a world where when we needed something, we asked for it and got what we needed.
Imagine that this didn’t require you to directly have the resources or connections to get that help, that you could ask the people you knew and they would spread the word.
Your message and request amplified and endorsed from being a tiny voice to that spoken by a community. Hopefully leading to changes in your world you could only dream of.
That is what happened to me last night.
Introducing Head over Heels
I am not a naturally well connected person. I am introverted, from a working class family in a pretty unremarkable part of the UK. I never learned how to build a network, let alone how to manage and use that network to give and receive support.
Now I am making up for lost time.
Last night I had the absolute privilege of pitching to the Head over Heels event in Melbourne.
Elevating female founded companies through connection and support
Head over Heels is an activation network that supports female led businesses through network, connection and community. To put it simply, it is a group of well connected, enthusiastic and experienced business leaders from across Australia. They were formed from the belief that there were many female led companies formed but many never grew to their full potential as the founders lacked the network and connections to support their growth.
Head over Heels community members lend their social capital and connections to help elevate female founded companies and help bridge that gap.
There is an extensive vetting process to be selected to pitch at their events and founders must attend a range of sessions to make sure that they get the most out of the event. However, after a long road, last night it was my turn to bring SafeStack to Head over Heels.
Seven minutes to be bold
You get seven minutes to pitch. As someone who does hour long keynotes to thousands of people, that feels like no time at all – you have to work hard and focus on your message. This is a moment you don’t want to miss. Your pitch ends with an “Ask” slide, asking outright for the help you need to grow.
After the pitches, the audience (around ninety people this time) are split into rooms and encouraged to make offers to help against your asks.
I can tell you now that standing in a room with 90 people you know from the business press, the TV or media and asking explicitly for help is a surreal experience. It’s not one of desperation or weakness, rather one of strength and acceptance.
Last night when asking for help, for the first time I breathed and realised I was exactly where I needed to be in that moment. That asking for help, even from these seemingly unreadable people was exactly the path I needed to be on – that I deserved to be there.
What happens now?
It was a night of feeling authentic and strong. I stood by my convictions and mission, unapologetically asking for assistance to make it happen. This is a big step in a long journey for me.
Now the process of follow up begins.
I met some incredible people. I had humbling (and funny) conversations with women who have had extreme success and yet underneath the glossy cover, are just like me. I saw friendships and connections between people that had formed over decades of doing hard things.
Last night I asked for 3 things and today I will echo those asks.
Today, I will start the long process of making sure the generosity of Head over Heels and its members is not wasted. It’s time to do something amazing and now I feel like I have an entire community at my side.
To those who made offers, thank you.
To those who gave feedback, a smile and a shared story, I’m very glad we connected.
SafeStack’s Head over Heels Asks
Even if you weren’t there, if you can help, I would love to speak to you. Reach out via email to email@example.com and we can have a chat.
1. Introductions to B2B companies that build software – such as FinTech, HealthTech, Airlines, Iconic Brands and high growth SaaS.
Our ideal customers are 50-500 engineers and we’d love to talk to security and software leaders in these organisations in Australia, New Zealand and USA.
2. Introductions to potential partners who can help us reach larger audiences globally – consultancies, MSP, developer communities, cyber insurers, global universities and developer tools.
3. Amplification and coverage – we are doing something bold and at a scale that will make a measurable impact on software security skill levels worldwide.
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